Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on Oct. 16, 2018.

LEAH MILLIS/The New York Times News Service

Saudi Arabia’s heir to the throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, promised Tuesday to oversee an investigation into the disappearance of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, one of his own most prominent critics, even as a U.S senator accused him of involvement in the alleged murder.

Turkish authorities meanwhile expanded their investigation, and pointed toward an official effort to cover up whatever happened to Mr. Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Prince Mohammed, the 33-year-old who is seen as the de facto ruler of his oil-rich country, looked relaxed as he chatted with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a gold-decorated room inside one of Riyadh’s many palaces. “We are strong and old allies. … We faced a lot of challenges together in the past and today and tomorrow,” the Crown Prince told Mr. Pompeo with reporters present at the beginning of the meeting. Mr. Pompeo nodded and replied, “Absolutely.”

Story continues below advertisement

In Istanbul, Turkish officials told reporters that investigators working inside the Saudi consulate had found evidence that Mr. Khashoggi – a Saudi national who used his platform as a columnist for The Washington Post to criticize the Crown Prince’s crackdown on dissent – had been killed and dismembered inside the building. The investigators were granted access to the consulate for the first time on Monday, 12 days after Mr. Khashoggi went missing after visiting the consulate seeking documents that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancée.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted they had discovered an effort to tamper with possible evidence. “The investigation is looking into many things, such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over,” he told reporters at Turkey’s parliament.

On Tuesday, Turkish police widened their probe to include consulate vehicles and the residence of the Saudi consul-general, Mohammed al-Otaibi, who reportedly left the country on Tuesday on a flight bound for Riyadh.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Mr. Pompeo and the Crown Prince agreed “on the importance of a thorough, transparent and timely investigation that provides answers” into the fate of Mr. Khashoggi.

Mr. Pompeo, who is travelling to Ankara on Wednesday to meet his Turkish counterpart, left his meetings with Saudi King Salman and Prince Mohammed without any public admission that Mr. Khashoggi is dead. CNN and The New York Times reported on Monday that a deal had been struck that would see Saudi Arabia admit that Mr. Khashoggi had been killed during an interrogation gone wrong inside its consulate in Istanbul. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara had received no such information.

Instead, Saudi Arabia still publicly maintains that Mr. Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed on Oct. 2.

Posting on his Twitter account, U.S. President Donald Trump said he had spoken by phone with Prince Mohammed on Tuesday while Mr. Pompeo was in the room. Mr. Trump wrote that the Crown Prince “totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate.”

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Trump added that Prince Mohammed “has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter. Answers will be forthcoming shortly.”

Mr. Trump’s tweets, and the chummy mood between Mr. Pompeo and the Crown Prince, were jarringly at odds with the angry tone adopted by others in Washington. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham – a close ally of Mr. Trump and a long-time advocate of closer U.S.-Saudi relations – went as far as accusing the Saudi heir of personal involvement in Mr. Khashoggi’s death.

“Nothing happens in Saudi Arabia without MBS knowing it,” Mr. Graham said in an interview with Fox News, referring to Prince Mohammed by his initials. “This guy is a wrecking ball. He had this guy murdered in a consulate in Turkey. ... The MBS figure is, to me, toxic. He can never be a world leader on the world stage.”

Other members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, have called for the Trump administration to freeze US$110-billion worth of contracts to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia – and for the White House to join a swelling boycott of an investment conference in Riyadh that’s closely associated with the Crown Prince – pending the outcome of a full investigation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the case “extremely disturbing,” and said that the United States should find out more about what happened to Mr. Khashoggi, a Saudi national who lived in self-imposed exile in Virginia and contributed regular opinion columns to The Washington Post. “I can’t imagine if what we think happened, that we would take no action,” Mr. McConnell said.

Canada and several European countries – as well as the Khashoggi family and his editors at The Washington Post – have called for an impartial, international probe into Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Story continues below advertisement

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said she has been working the phones with Canada’s allies in the Group of Seven as they seek answers for Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“It’s important to be very clear that, certainly for our democracies to function, but I think for the world to function, we need journalists to be able to work without fear for their lives, in safety,” she said.

Mr. Trump, whose real estate empire benefited from millions of dollars' worth of Saudi investment, has seemed reticent to get tough with Riyadh. After speaking by telephone on Monday with King Salman, Mr. Trump floated the theory that “rogue killers” could be to blame for whatever happened to Mr. Khashoggi.

The Turkish investigation points in a very different direction. Near-daily leaks of information to the Turkish and international media have painted a picture of a carefully co-ordinated operation to deal with a journalist who had obviously angered someone powerful in Riyadh.

Turkish media have published photographs of what they say is a 15-man hit squad – including an intelligence official and a forensics expert – that reportedly arrived in Istanbul just before Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance. Turkish investigators are believed to have audio and video recordings of what happened inside the consulate, though those have not been made public.

With a report from David Parkinson

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies